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News Release

Morongo Band of Mission Indians

In its ongoing effort to help educate and prepare the next generation of tribal leaders, the Morongo Band of Mission Indians near Palm Springs, CA has donated $100,000 to the California Indian Nations College (CINC) in Palm Desert, CA.

The donation is part of the two-year community college’s $3,000,000 Campaign, launched in April with an initial goal to raise $1 million by December 30, 2021. California Indian Nations College is working to become the first fully-accredited tribal college in the state of California to offer two-year degrees.

“We are incredibly grateful to the Morongo Band of Mission Indians for investing in the future of Native students and for the Tribe’s ongoing commitment to supporting the academic success of Native people everywhere,” said Celeste Townsend, California Indian Nations College’s president. “This gift allows us to continue our mission to provide a culturally-responsive academic curriculum rooted in Native American values.”

“The California Indian Nations College is a bold and visionary institution that seeks to reverse historic trends that have left Native students underrepresented in postsecondary education,” said Morongo Tribal Chairman Charles Martin. “We firmly believe education is the great equalizer and we hope this contribution will help bring greater educational equity to Native people.”

2021 data from the Postsecondary Policy Institute shows that less than 10% of Native Americans receive an associate’s degree, and only 16% attain a bachelor's degree or higher.

The California Indian Nations College donation aligns with Morongo’s long history of supporting higher education. Since 2010, the Rodney T. Mathews Scholarship Program at Morongo has awarded $530,000 to 53 Native American students attending universities across the nation. The program is open to enrolled members of any of the more than 100 federally-recognized tribes in California. 

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